The Olympics at the Millennium: Power, Politics, and the Games

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Kay Schaffer, Sidonie Smith
Rutgers University Press, 2000 - Social Science - 318 pages
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The Olympics thrill the world with spectacle and drama. They also carry a cultural and social significance that goes beyond the stadium, athletes, and fans. The Games are arenas in which individual and team athletic achievement intersect with the politics of national identity in a global context.

The Olympics at the Millennium offers groundbreaking essays that explore the cultural politics of the Games. The contributors investigate such topics as the emergence of women athletes as cultural commodities, the orchestrated spectacles of the opening and closing ceremonies, and the alternative sport culture offered via the Gay Games. Unforgettable events and decisions are discussed: Native American athlete Jim Thorpe winning—and losing—his two gold medals in 1912. Why America was one of the few countries to actually send Jewish athletes to the “Nazi Olympics.” The disqualification of champion Ewa Klobukowska from competing as a woman, due to chromosomal testing in 1967.

With the 2000 Sydney Games imminent, several essays address concerns with which every host country must contend, such as the threat of terrorism. Highlighting the difficult issues of racism and nationalism, another article explores the efforts of this country's aboriginal people to define a role for themselves in the 2000 Games, as they struggle with ongoing discrimination. And with the world watching, Sydney faces profound pressure to implement a successful Olympics, as a matter of national pride.


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PART ONE Cultural Difference and Elite Sports
Jim Thorpes Olympic Medals
Jewish Athletes and the Nazi Olympics
PART TWO IVIasculinitiesFemi ninitiesSexualities
Coming of Age in the Third Millennium
a One Chromosome Too Many?
Creating Our Own Sports Culture
Whos Sorry Now? Drugs Sports and the Media toward 2000
The Olympics of the Everyday
PART FOUR Politics at the Games
s Sports for All? The Politics of Funding Nationalism

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About the author (2000)

KAY SCHAFFER is an associate professor in the department of Social Inquiry at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She is the author of several books, including Women and the Bush.

SIDONIE SMITH is professor of English and director of Women's Studies at The University of Michigan. She has written many books, including Women on the Move: Twentieth Century Travel Narratives and Technologies of Motion. Both Schaffer and Smith co-edited (along with Jennifer Sabbioni) Indigenous Australian Voices: A Reader (Rutgers University Press)

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